Daniel Sheremeto paddles out to meet Rob Roseberry on Swan Lake during a day outing for the Spinal Cord Injury B.C. group from Vernon and Kelowna.

Group provides support

Spinal Cord Injury B.C. has created a peer group in Vernon.

After forming a large group in Kelowna, Spinal Cord Injury B.C. has created a peer group in Vernon.

“We’ve had a really strong group in Kelowna that we’ve had for a very long time so we’re just trying to expand that into Vernon and start a group here,” said Sonja Gaudet, a Vernon resident.

The group started about two months ago and has already tried adaptive rowing on Swan Lake with Go Row and Paddle.

It was the first meeting for the Vernon group but they are already looking forward to a number of other opportunities in the near future including parasailing, wine tours and visiting the speedway to watch a paraplegic driver in action.

The group definitely benefits from going out and doing these activities and trying new things, but that’s not the main purpose of the group.

“The concept that SCI-BC wants to see is that we have a weekly group, a weekly meeting where we’re really just hanging out and sharing ideas and supporting,” said Gaudet.

And that support is certainly felt, especially among the members who are already meeting.

“It offers mentoring, the exchanging of experiences and knowledge with others, particularly new folks who’ve recently had injuries with spinal cord,” said Mike Foote, one of the group members.

For some people, especially those who are new to spinal injuries, it can be difficult speaking to someone who doesn’t understand the situation. Having a group like this gives those people someone to talk to, someone who has been through something similar.

“You can see their eyes open wide when they have the ability to talk to others who’ve been in the chair for a while and get to understand some of the experiences and challenges that they experience early in their injury and even today,” said Foote.

“Part of it’s interaction, participation and the ability for us to just sit here and just share something that we all get, that nobody else gets.”

The group also provides them with a chance to get out and do things they wouldn’t normally do, and in some cases, things that they didn’t know they could do.

“When we’re doing these activities with each other it’s much easier if you’re doing it with other people who are all doing it for the first time and are in the same situation,” said Gaudet.

One member, Scott James admits he had a really difficult time when he first started in a chair like most people do, but thanks to groups like these ones, he was able to get out and get back doing some of the things he enjoys.

“I really didn’t like being in a chair for a long time, I despised it,” he said.

“I was in a town where there wasn’t really anyone else in a chair, then I moved out here. I met Sonya about five years ago and she got me to start playing tennis and just opening up to new things and new experiences. Sometimes it’s really easy to trap yourself inside or just give into the depression.

“It’s harder to get out there and get stuff done. If you help someone who’s just fresh in a chair, it’s for the better. I find that people who are fresh in the chair can even help those who have been in it for a long time,” said James.

For more information on SCI-BC visit www.sci-bc.ca.

If you’d like to meet with the Vernon group ,e-mail Sonja Gaudet at Sgaudet@sci-bc.ca

“We would like anyone that’s interested in coming out, even if it’s not on a regular basis, to just come out whenever they can and just see what it’s all about,” said Gaudet.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Water draws Vernon artists together for exhibit

Gallery Vertigo open house Saturday for Spirit of Water

Lake Country Food Bank camera stolen

Silver Ford crew cab seen taking equipment from social service agency

Popular Vernon pond gets new observation deck

Work will start soon on structure at Cools Pond in the BX that will include roof covering

Lumby centenarian dies one week after milestone birthday

Carl Werner, who spent most of his 100 years in Cherryville, died Monday, Aug. 3

CrossFit Vernon celebrates a decade of community

For 10 years, CrossFit Vernon has been supporting their community

B.C. doctors, dentists call on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

Merritt man arrested after allegedly touching children inappropriately

Skylar Mcleod, 24, is facing six charges, including one for sexual interference

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Alberta man’s body recovered from Okanagan Lake after five-day search

‘The depth of the water, as well as the topography of the lake, made the recovery of the deceased very challenging’ - RCMP

Facebook launches its new TikTok clone, Instagram Reels

Facebook has a long tradition of cloning competitive services

B.C. Appeal Court prevents Victoria woman from using the term ‘death midwife’ in her job

Pashta MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years

‘We all have anxieties’: B.C.’s top doctor addresses return-to-school fears amid COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry promises school restart plan safe for B.C. kids

West Kelowna wildfire ‘under control’

B.C. Wildfire anticipates no further growth from the three-hectare fire

Most Read